The Nintendo Network will be free to access.

During a recent shareholders meeting, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that the Nintendo Network–the online service for the 3DS and upcoming Wii U–will be free.  “We…believe that services which ask our consumers to obtain paid memberships are not always the best,” Iwata-san stated.

-Nick’s take:  Nintendo is betting big on the Wii U, and a lot of the new system’s appeal will rely on the Nintendo Network.  Making the Wii U’s online features free to access is good, but finding out what exactly those online features will be is much more important.  The Miiverse is a decent first step, but we need things like online play, voice chat, downloadable content, and ways to interact with friends if the service is going to be a success.

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